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MMSD budget shifts money, staff from central office to schools

Published On: Apr 28 2014 09:07:52 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 29 2014 03:05:29 PM CDT
Jennifer Cheatham

MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham

MADISON, Wis. -

A preliminary budget proposal from Madison Metropolitan School District officials shifts $2 million and 26 staff positions from the central office out to schools.

The budget will be presented to the school board Monday, and was made available on the district’s website Monday morning.

Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham instituted zero-based budgeting, which meant the preliminary budget was built from the ground up.

“It was not about whether we cut, but about where do we reallocate our existing funding to get the most use out of it,” Cheatham said.

In a release, Cheatham said the budget aligns resources to the district’s strategy.

“If schools are going to be the driving force of change in our district, we need to build our support around the school and around the school’s improvement plan. I think people are excited about getting to do work that’s meaningful and directly impacting the day to day work of schools,” Cheatham said.

The budget also allows schools flexibility with their own budgets to address their own school improvement plans.

“Part of our improvement strategy is that we want schools to be in the driver’s seat; that principals and teachers know their students and families best, and they should have some flexibility within parameters to do what they think is right in their school to achieve their goals,” Cheatham said.

The budget proposal includes a 2.1 percent tax levy increase, which is $3.95 million less than the district’s full taxing authority, according to district officials.

The budget and any proposed amendments will be taken up at an operations meeting on June 9.

The proposed budget is available here.

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